Israeli firm Playtech expected to lose over betting machines

New UK regulations targeting gambling machines likely to hit Israeli machine's producer.

Arutz Sheva Staff,


Fixed odd betting machines are coming under fire from the UK government to reduce their minimum stakes, something that will cause losses for Playtech, the company originally founded by Teddy Sagi.

Whilst Sagi only holds a 4% stake in the company, Playtech designed the software which last year made over £1.3 billion for high street bookmakers including Coral and Ladbrokes. There are currently over 35,000 machines located in bookmakers around the UK.

However, pressure from UK politicians and sports minister Tracey Crouch will see the maximum stake on the machines changed from £100 to just £2 per play. The games, which regularly include slots, roulette and blackjack allow you to wager up to £100 every 20 seconds, making it incredibly addictive and something that has generated the high street bookmakers over £1.3 billion in the last year.

Politician Tracey Crouch has been pushing heavily for the reform on the games, which will she calls the ‘crack cocaine’ of the high street. Whilst the £2 change was expected to start in October 2018, it was pushed back by an entire year – something that made the minister quit her post.

Crouch received a host of adulation from fellow MPs including Boris Johnson for ‘sticking up for her beliefs’ and the continued pressure has now pushed the law forward and will be in place from April 2019.

High street bookmakers have protested against the new laws. The games are usually bright, loud and unsupervised, meaning that they are low cost to run for betting stores and have huge returns. The result of the new decision could allegedly cost hundreds of UK jobs.

However, shareholders have welcomed the new and improved law to be more transparent and fair, with Ladbrokes’s share price increasing 8% and William Hill’s up 2% upon hearing the news.

There is no change on the minimum requirements for online casino and gambling, although first-time customers are typically limited to thresholds of £10, £20, £50 etc. Customers can be encouraged to play using free bets and bonuses, although wagering requirements will commonly apply.

“For a free bet to be fully approved, customers must fulfil the terms of the bonus including completing the full number of spins, using up the full wager and registering an account online with that casino,” explained a spokesman from Monster Casino Bonus.

The main online casinos in the UK have a presence or headquarters in Israel include 888 Casino, Winner and William Hill.